The first step is to cut the oranges in a way that you can take the middle out with very minimal damage to the outside peel.
We just cut the oranges into segments then carefully peeled out the yummy inside. These oranges were very juicy so the Little Chefs had juice all over. They were patient during the process, but each one hit their limit of being sticky and dirty then had to quit.
The next step is to carefully slice off the white pith. That is the bitter part so it depends on how bitter you want it to be. I did not let my Little Chefs do this step. It is very careful knife work and they very easily could cut themselves. After making one batch of these I would caution you to remove as much of the white pith as possible. The ones that had almost no pith were MUCH better then the ones with more white pith left on. … I was lazy at the end!
Your Little Chefs can then help cut the peel into strips. The suggestion is 1/4 – inch wide, but as thin as your Little Chef is able to cut them. That will be the size of each piece so in reality there is no official size, just preference or ability to cut them thin.
In a pot of boiling water, let your Little Chef carefully lower the strips into the water. Boil for 15 minutes. When finished boiling drain and rinse a few times just to be sure they are clean.
We cleaned out the pan and then added equal parts sugar and water and let it come to a boil. Make sure you stir to help dissolve the sugar and prevent it from burning. When the sugar water is boiling add the strips and simmer for about 45 minutes. You want the peel to be soft but not falling apart.
Your Little Chef can prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper (for ease of clean up). Pour 1/2 cup superfine sugar on top of the parchment paper. When the strips are soft (let your Little Chef give it a taste to see!) mix the strips of orange peel with the superfine sugar on the baking sheet. Each orange peel will become coated with the sugar. Once they are fully coated lay them out on a baking sheet to dry. This will take 1-2 days. Or to speed up the process, like we did, you can put the baking sheet with the orange peels in the oven on the lowest setting (175 degrees) for 15 minutes. The orange peels are not fully dry, but it definitely speeds up the drying time.
We think they taste and look very good. In fact, Little Chef A tasted one and said, “I can’t believe we actually made orange candy! We made that at home! That is amazing!” These were loved by all! Most of us liked the ones with very little pith. Little Chef Dad liked the ones that were a little bitter. He liked the contrast. These were very time consuming, but what a fun little snack or decoratio
Simple Candied Orange Peel
- 2 large oranges, 1/4 inch of top and bottom cut off
- 4 cups sugar, divided
- 3 cups water
DO AHEAD: Wrap and freeze up to 2 months.